Bishop Nicholas has set out his vision for evangelisation in the diocese in a series of meetings held with the clergy between 9 and 11 December 2014. The meetings were held in Cathedral Hall, St Albans and Ealing.
As Bishop with oversight of the National Catholic Evangelisation Conference, Bishop Nicholas explained PROCLAIM ’15, a new initiative being launched by the Bishops’ Conference to support, enthuse and equip parish evangelisation for 2015. The initiative is inspired by Pope Francis’ first Apostolic Exhortation Evangelii Gaudium and is comprised of five parts:
- Provision of free parish small group materials.
- The National Catholic Evangelisation Conference in Birmingham in July 2015.
- An invitation to join in prayer on the eve of the Conference.
- An invitation for parishes to host their own Proclaim events throughout the year.
- The publication of new resources as a fruit of the Conference to equip local evangelisation.
The highlight of the initiative is the National Catholic Evangelisation Conference which will be held at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre in Birmingham on 11 July 2015. Speakers at the Conference will include Cardinal Vincent, Archbishop Bernard Longley, former Auxiliary Bishop of Westminster and now Archbishop of Birmingham, Rev Nicky Gumbel from the Alpha Course and Mrs Michelle Moran from the Pontifical Council for the Laity. 850 people are expected to attend the Conference representing each of the 22 dioceses in England and Wales.
Cardinal Vincent said of the new initiative: ‘This pioneering initiative is for all clergy, religious and lay people. Why? Because we all share the one mission – to proclaim the joy of the Gospel. The wide range of practical ideas offered for planning and carrying out fruitful parish evangelisation will help us all to be better missionary disciples. Please don’t let this opportunity pass you by.’
The Rt Rev Mark O’Toole, Bishop of Plymouth and Chair of the Bishops’ National Department for Evangelisation and Catechesis, said: ‘Pope Francis’ Evangelii Gaudium offers us a blueprint for Catholic evangelisation. We are invited to give our encounter with Jesus Christ simple, but radical and creative, expression in our local communities. Proclaim ’15 aims to support and encourage as many parishes as possible to take new steps in service of this mission. It is being offered in partnership with generous co-workers in Catholic Dioceses across England and Wales and has a wholly practical focus. A specific step that is being encouraged is the development of dedicated parish evangelisation teams. Please do get involved in the variety of ways that are being proposed.’
For more information and to read the Proclaim document in full, please click HERE.